LA 4008 Advanced Topics Studio: Exploration in New Territories
Students enrolled in the fall 2013 “Culture and Design: Exploration in New Territories” advanced topics studio had a choice of two projects and locations. Each group had the opportunity to travel to their project site at the beginning of the semester. The first group traveled to Anchorage, Alaska, to conduct fieldwork at Denali National Park, where they worked with NPS professional staff. The students were charged with developing a facility, visitor’s center, and training area and backpacking, hiking, and camping site at Toklat Camp, a maintenance camp for park roads with heavy equipment, gravel mining, and lodging for seasonal workers. The second group traveled to Chengdu, China, to work in a collaborative studio with landscape architecture students at Sichuan Agricultural University on a cultural and agricultural tourism project in the mountains adjacent to the city of Ya’an. The students explored strategies for preserving an agrarian way of life—a living cultural preserve—that could be a model for preserving other cultural resources that are under threat as China embarks on the urbanization of the country.
Advanced topics studios in landscape architecture address research and projects in the profession make up part of the landscape architecture program’s travel requirements. The studios are a vertical mix of fifth-year undergraduate students and third-year graduate students.